Aubrey (3516) - Bellingham, Washington, USA - JAN 27, 2006
UPDATED: DEC 2, 2007 This beer pours with a demonic darkness, covered by a shroud of tan head. Lace lingers in a purgatory state of being. Nose was pumping out sweet aromas of candy, fresh-baked yeast cake and freshly crushed vanilla beans. Mouthfeel was beyond amazing ... took me back to that first Beast, and then some. If you could swallow liquid silk, this is what it would feel like. I’d give it a 6 if I could. Man, where do I start? As I sip incessantly, I can’t type as fast as I’m thinking. Chocolate, black licorice, earthy wood, cooked raisins, quenchy apricot, brown sugar, plums, vanilla, toasted bread, creamed coffee, sweet grass, peat, very rich molasses ... it’s a swirled hurricane of flavors and aromas. Alcohol is hidden amazingly well, but it does surface beautifully in the background. Hops are healthy, but the hop boldness is very complementing ... enough to be classic Avery, but not "over-the-top," as some might say. The fat-ass malts have the advantage on this teeter-totter. Man, what an incredible beer! Mephistopheles pushes the Imperial Stout style to new levels, and it more than raises the bar. RERATE (Dec. 2007 batch; just bottled): They nailed it again; what a fantastic beer. Seems a bit fruitier than the sample I had months ago. I enjoyed it immensely. chadzter (94) - huntsville, Alabama, USA - FEB 10, 2006
12ozBottle. This is the best beer I have ever had. Thanks to BeerandBlues2 for showing me this one. Pours a very dark opaque Black color. Aroma is full of fruit aromas with a wonderful coffee and chocolate blend. The brew has a high ABV of 15.1 and has a great thick brown tan head that stays till the end. The best thing about this beer is the overall flavor and for it to carry such a high ABV that is perfectly hidden. This is just a great beer because after I had my first taste of this beer the next day I drove all day. To get to Boulder and back so I can have some before their all gone. GreatLibations (1854) - Last Supper, Arizona, USA - MAR 5, 2006
UPDATED: FEB 25, 2007 ***2005, Pours like iodine, clings to the sidewalls like a rabid bobcat. Smells of malted lead. Super full nectar. Very metalic in flavor with cooked leather, copper, cassis, espresso. This is very sweet with a huge hop on the finish that tries to knock out the sugar but can’t. Reminds me of a blend of 100yr old Vintage Porto and an ancient Madeira. More like a bloody kick in the mouth with a boot cooked in espresso. Overall; this brew will kick your ass. I thoroughly enjoyed getting my face kicked in over and over again, sip after sip, kick after kick. Do it, do it !
***2006, Pours bloody black w/ a medium, semi creamy froth that just sits there. Aroma is thick and chocolatey sweet w/ a nice citrus rind kick. Full nectar like sludge w/ well integrated effers creating a thick and chewy texture lik unset chocolate fudge. Strong flavors of cocoa, roasted coffee bean, sweet molases, vanilla, chocolate cake bread, moderate strength espresso, and a little bit of hopsy citrus rind to help balance it out. The finish is long and chewy sweet w/ a nice bittering componant. Beerdedone (3496) - Croydon, Pennsylvania, USA - APR 25, 2006
UPDATED: APR 26, 2006 Bottle sampled with Stegosaurus. Now i am no fan of stouts, but this is definitely the best i have ever tasted. Pours dark with a brown head, aroma of fruit, roast, and alcohol. Flavor is roast, carbonation, fruit, coffee, and smooth. Darkover (1545) - Columbus, Ohio, USA - MAY 19, 2006
Dark black with a medium dark brown head. Rich sugery aroma of roasted malt, candy, soy and dates. Flavor is really sweet and rich with raisons, dates, soy, roasted malt and licorice. Body is kind of oily and the 15% is well hidden. Raaly drinkable for a huge beer.
GG (2332) - NorCal, California, USA - MAY 22, 2006
Can you say perfect? One of the rare beers that I will ever give a perfect rating for, this one surely deserves it. I wanted to lick the bottle and my glass for every last molecule of this stuff. Absolutely incredible complex in the aroma and palate. Nose had notes of caramel, charcoal, roasted malts, dark fruits, vanilla, brandy, and rum. Appearance is jet black. There wasn’t enough light in the room to properly check to see if it was solid thru but who cares. Flavors were much the same as the nose but I could get chocolate coverd cherries, more malt, hoppy goodness and that mouthfeel was perfect. My 3rd time with Avery (3rd time’s a charm) and they hit a grand slam with this one. nexus77 (2) - USA - FEB 22, 2007 does not count
I promise I am not one of the overly enthusiastic types with the inability to be critical. I absolutely feel that this is the best beer I have ever had. I felt that the Czar was amazing, but this one is even better. There is really not a strong alcohol taste, surprisingly. I wish that I could get this in Tennessee. Don’t let my low number of ratings fool you. I have tried a large variety of beers from all around the world. I just don’t usually rate anything. I simply had to rate these two Averys. BelgianWannabe (2) - attleboro, Massachusetts, USA - OCT 31, 2007 does not count
this is (as far as i’m concerned) as close to perfection as any beer will ever be.
Skeegle (566) - Maryland, USA - MAY 19, 2008
i was in love with the first batch, so when i heard another was out, i immediately went to my favorite local brew store (yankee spirits, south attleboro, mass...if you’ve never been, go), and picked up 6, i have 3 aging, the others were enjoyed on three different nights.
now this batch definately came out with a much more powerful aroma than the last batch, now when i say powerful, i don’t mean alcoholic smells, i just mean all the same smells from batch one were present, and much more potent
first, i poured it into a brandy (style) snifter glass (one of the ones that came with the rapscallion 4 packs for a while)
the pour was beautiful, dark, black, smooth, with small reddish/tan head, (which quickly died down) leaves a nice lacing on the glass.
i give it a swirl, a deep sniff BOOM! dark chocolate, marachino (spelling?) cherries, cappucino, alot like the first batch, but with more of a chocolate smell, and far more intense.
taste...beergasm! i never thought it could get any better than batch one, god damn i was wrong. beautiful, like someone made a sam smith’s imperial stout, but doubled everything in the recipe (besides the hops), and added chocolate covered cherry flavoring.
so many suddle complexities...
if you clear the palate, and do not smoke, eat, or drink (with the exception of water of course) anything for an hour beforehand, and enjoy one of these over the course of an hour, i swear, you will discover a new flavor with every sip. espresso, cherry, chocolate covered cherry, rasin, plum, dark chcocolate, milk chcocolate, dried apricot, and cherry syrup, along with the light background flavors of brandy, bourbon and rum...it makes me shiver, i am in love with a beer.
the only huge difference in flavor is that batch one had the finish of a real strong imperial stout (as i expected), this one has the finish of a red wine...not necessarily an aftertaste, so much as just a little hint of a red wine flavor at the tail end of every sip, which is quickly replaced by a light chocolatey inhale
mouthfeel, thick, lightly syrupy, like a beer shake.
drinkability, simple...sip it, love it, enjoy it, it will last at least an hour, if you try to drink it like you would a brown session ale, or a sam adams boston lager, you will ruin the experience....but for such a strong sipper, this is perfect as far as drinkability, especially with such a low carbonation level.
UPDATED: MAR 4, 2009 WOW! This beer was simply amazing. Out of every stout, or even dark beer, that I’ve had up to this point, this beer was the best. The malty sweetness blew me away. Absolutely amazing. I asked my friend what she thought of the beer and she said she estimated it at 6% abv--for a %16 beer, that is amazing. This beer had tons of fruity ripeness and bitter sweetness and was just about as pleasant as it could possibly be. My favorite dark beer to this day. Amazing, I will buy this whenever I see it for sale.
WOW! Still the best dark beer I’ve ever had. Everything from before but even better. Bumped rating from 4.9 to 5 because it’s just a perfect beer; I don’t know that I could hook my brain up to a dream machine and conjure up a better glass of beer than this. lemasney (398) - Trenton, New Jersey, USA - JUL 4, 2008
Purchased at: OakTree BuyRite, South Plainfield, NJ (Thanks, Jason and Matt)
Size: 12 fl oz
IBU: no frikkin idea
Estimated Calories:300 C
RateBeer Rating: 99
Aural: easy opening, little carbonation, dark, pretty pour
Aroma 10 out of 10
Malt Aroma: rye, pumpernickel, sugar, cinnamon toast, peanut, chocolate, coffee
Hops Aroma: moldy mud, marigold, tea, tar
Other Aroma: alcohol burn
Notes: A rich and deeply layered scent - if the taste is anything like the scent, I’m in for a ride.
Appearance 5 out of 5
Head Retention: wispy
Notes: A bold, deep black, sans light, plus wispy tan head. Beautiful.
Flavor 10 out of 10
Balance: amazingly balanced
Malt Flavor: wheat, barley, pumpernickel, chocolate syrup, whole wheat toast, peanuts, toffee, dark chocolate, espresso roast, dark coffee
Hops Flavor: dry dirt, cilantro, peppers, tar resin, lemon
Notes: The taste is unequaled in stouts. It has an acidic burn of alcohol, deep, dark rich chocolate, amber waves of grain, plums, apricots, ginger, soy, spinach. It’s amazing.
Palate 5 out of 5
Sensation: drying warming
Notes: Bitter depth of finish is one of the key reasons to find this beer again. It is murky with depth and history of flavors.
General Impression: 20 out of 20
Personal Taste: loved
Notes: Perhaps outshines even Mikkeller’s Beer Geek Breakfast.